Incidentally this is the kind of service that I found exciting and enthralling and emotionally sustaining twenty years ago, but which now often leaves me cold and slightly irritated. It's not surprising that many of the congregation were young people. But I've been puzzling a bit about why the difference in response? Was I the only person in the Big Tent at Spring Harvest a few years ago trying, really trying, to find to God in the noise and repetition and exhortations to behave in a particular way, but feeling ever more manipulated and alientated? Maybe the 'herd instinct' expresses itself differently at various st/ages of our lives?
Today I found a description of worship that put into words a lot of what I have been experiencing,
"In most of the Western world there are basically two types of worship you’re likely to find in churches. Liturgical worship that follows a set pattern or structure in a prayer book led by professional clergy is the basic diet of mainline denominations.
And blocks of singing led by a keyboard player, guitarist or worship band are the staple diet of worship in charismatic/evangelical/pentecostal churches.
On the one hand, the liturgy has depth but repeated week in week out can become very dry and formulaic, seems to reflect a bygone era, and makes very little connection with contemporary life.
But on the other hand, worship led by a band whilst it can be exciting isn’t without its problems – a cult of the worship leader as a sort of guru has emerged, worship easily gets trapped into performance mode, and the range of theology in the songs is often pretty thin. It seems to suit an adolescent stage of faith which is brilliant if that’s where you are at.
But when you have been a Christian for a few years, your faith is equally as real but you probably have a different set of questions and struggles. When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, raising kids is a challenge, God is distant, or life is hard this kind of worship can seem irrelevant and disconnected from everyday life. Themes that are commonplace in the hymnology of the psalms – anger, lament, disorientation, exile – just don’t seem to fit with this modern worship culture.
You can find a lot more at this site, and I don't agree with the 'third way' - even more division? I'd like to find an inclusive way to encompass the needs of all the worshippers in the church rather than force people into choosing their church based on whether they have a choir or a band.
I meet increasing numbers of adults who are struggling with this dilemma."
Oh, and I'd like to be able to keep the vows I made at ordination at the same time - I don't want much do I?